2019 | Rates and the housing market

2019 House prices

NZ house prices are slowly moving up, except for Auckland which saw small falls over January. Soon Auckland may not be the only place where property is getting cheaper. According to ANZ, more houses are staying on the market longer and banks are being fussier over who they lend to, and how much; so there appears to be less money in buyers’ pockets at auctions.

Historically, our property market broadly follows Australia’s. Theirs is already down 6.7% since October with Fitch ratings agency predicting a further 5% fall this year. We seem to be headed for a slight change in 2019 as we swing towards a buyers' market. But, the RBNZ is less concerned than it’s been in recent years, so while prices will probably slow, it won’t be too bad.

Rates for 2019

Unemployment is basement low at 3.9% and inflation is rising. Our economy will probably slow a little in the next few years, growing at just 2-3% annually. What does this mean for rates? A weakening global economy and other risks mean the RBNZ is expected to cautiously keep rates where they are, or even cut rates towards year’s end. What opportunities could this provide? Contact your adviser to find out.